Mitogenic component in polar lipid-enriched Anaplasma phagocytophilum membranes

Kyoung Seong Choi, J. Stephen Dumler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Human granulocytic anaplasmosis is an emerging tick-borne disease caused by Anaplasma phagocytophilum. A. phagocytophilum cells activate Toll-like receptor 2 signaling and possess mitogenic activity, and A. phagocytophilum infection in vivo activates NKT cells unrelated to major surface protein 2 (Msp2) hypervariable region expression. Thus, we hypothesized that lipoprotein or glycolipid components of A. phagocytophilum membranes could be important triggers of the innate immune response and inununopathology. A. phagocytophilum membranes depleted of Msp2 and protein antigens enhanced the proliferation of naïve mouse splenocytes beyond that of untreated membranes. Protein-depleted and polar lipid-enriched membranes from low-passage A. phagocytophilum cultures enhanced naïve splenocyte lymphoproliferation to a much greater degree than did these fractions from high-passage cultures of bacterial membranes (1.8- to 3.7-fold for protein-depleted fractions and 4.8- to ≥17.7-fold for polar lipid-enriched fractions). These results support the hypothesis that components that are enriched among polar lipids in the A. phagocytophilum membrane stimulate innate immune cell proliferation, possibly activating NKT cells that link innate and adaptive immunity, and immunopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1260-1265
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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